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to take place on saturday. >> awhile protests continue to paralyzed parts of cairo, the capital damascus has renewed fighting. it has been two years since the uprising, tens of thousands have died. the middle east editor is in damascus and sent this report on the battle for an increasingly divided city. >> damascus is at the heart of the bloodiest arab uprising. they keep them under tight security that squeezes traffic down the main road. the capitals still functions. but the battle for damascus is under way. it is happening in the suburbs after months of shelling and air strikes. it is controlled by the rebels the claim they own about one- third of greater damascus. the rebels only have pockets of ground. these were blocks of flats. all sides should distinguish between civilians hiding. almost every building is damaged, which suggests is being treated as a military target. >> they sought a bomb and a barrel of explosives dropped from the helicopter. the blitz is breaking the city and breaking lives. it isn't breaking with the president's enemies. >> they have shown that they have the st
transition. as efforts continue, so, too, does the blood shed on the ground. a prison in damascus is where some of the opposition are being held. this is the report. >> the soundtrack of the damascus state is shelling. the regime has the heavy guns. they are the first thing you hear in the morning and the last at night. armed rebels are dug into parts of the center around damascus. this is one of them. the rebels who filmed this and any civilians who have not managed to escape are being shelled steadily in the last few days. the shells keep the rebels back from the strategics strong point. the bbc was invited to visit its detention center run by air force intelligence. we were not allowed to see the cell blocks. human rights groups say tortures happen here. they paraded six male prisoners. the men said they were not speaking under arrest. the government, who would not be filmed, said they were making the wrong assumptions about syria's secular state. none of the men had been in court that. all have confessed to being in the hottest, al qaeda-style group -- jihadist, al qaeda- style groups.
, very concerned that as the opposition advances, in particular on damascus, that the regime might very well consider the use of chemical weapons. >> reporter: monitoring of syrian basis like this one has pekd up evidence engineers have loaded the chemicals which combine to form the deadly nerve agent sarin, into bombs that could be dropped airplanes. satellites have seen trucks moving among want bunkers where the weapons and agents are believed to be stored. u.s. officials say the evidence is strong but circumstantial, not definitive. but that, combined with fighting ifighting in the suburbs of damascus, has led to fears of what the assad regime might do. we asked jeffrey white, a former analyst for the defense intelligence agency, what would happen if the rebels cut off damascus? >> it's the end of the regime. the regime can hang on for a while because it has troops in the city. it has ammunition and supplies and so on but it means the city will fall. it cannot stand alone. >> reporter: u.s. intelligence does not believe damascus is likely to fall right away, but white had an estimate
aside departure would be crucial. jeremy has been to a prison in damascus were some of the fighters are being held. this is his report. >> the soundtrack of the damascus gate, shelling. the regime has the heavy guns. they are the first thing you hear in the morning and the last at nine. the regime is that the city center. armed rebels are in parts of the ring around damascus. this is one of them. the rebels to film to this, and any civilians who have not escaped, have been shelled in the last few days. they keep the rebels back from this strong. . bbc was invited in to visit the detention center run by air force intelligence. we were not allowed to see the cellblocks. human rights groups say torture happens here. they paraded six prisoners. they said they were not speaking underdressed. the governor said any doubters were making the wrong assumptions about syria's secular state. syrian state tv was in the room to film. none of the men had been in court. all have confessed to being in al qaeda-style groups. >> the main work is making explosive devices to plant. >> they produce the al
war could be approaching a turning point. rebels are threatening the damascus airplane of airport the assad regime's lifeline to its few remaining allies. >> reporter: the outskirts of damascus have become a battleground with some of the fiercest fighting the city has seen yet. syrian rebels say they're closing in on the capital street by street. now, within their sights is their biggest target. the damascus international airport, about 12 miles southeast of the city. heavy dom bardment is reported today in the suburbs in the surrounding area. rebel leaders called the airport a legitimate target and gave a stark warning to the regime and outside travelers to avoid it at all costs. fighting near the airport forced the suspension of commercial flights this week. some airlines have already stopped all together. a rebel takeover of the airport would also cut off weapon supplies and allies like iran says andrew tabler of the washington institute near east policy. >> as the country's longest runways, from that location that jets from iran land, carrying a lot of sophisticated weapones,
, not definitive. but that, combined with fighting in the suburbs of damascus, has led to fears of what the assad regime might do. if it feels cornered. we asked jeffrey white, a former analyst for the defense intelligence agency, what would happen if the rebels cut off damascus? >> it's the end of the regime. the regime can hang on for a while because it has troops in the city. it has ammunition and supplies and so on but it means the city will fall. it cannot stand alone. >> reporter: u.s. intelligence does not believe damascus is likely to fall right away, but ikete had an estimate. b you can feel it. you can sense it. ow looks like the regime's being defeated, not tomorrow, maybe, tt not too far off, i think. >> reporter: can you put a time frame on it? >> i'm thinking in the next couple of months. >> reporter: the syrian tvernment has vowed not to use chemical weapons against its own people, but it regards the opposition as foreign terrorists. >> pelley: david, thank you. those so-called foreign acrrorists are actually the syrian people who rose up against the 41-year-old assad family dictat
in on the capitol city of damascus. those stories when the "cbs evening news" continues. t> >> jeff: a taliban attack at a military base in eastern afghanistan triggered a two hour battle today. suicide bombers began by detonating explosives at the gate of the nato base in jalalabadment all nine militants were killed. five afghan civilians also died. nato says the base was not breached. in syria two car bombs exploded today in the city of homs. at least 15 were killed there, and dozens of others wounded. and fighting also intense five-- intensified around damascus. as kelly cobiella reports rebels are closing in on the capitol. >> reporter: for the first time rebels are challenging the syrian army for control of the main airport. street battles have grounded flights for three days. rebels have also taken control of two military bases. and appear to be planning a push into the center of damascus. assad's army answered with rockets and bombs today. so far the regime has managed to stop an attack on the city and retains control of the airport. but for how long? andrew tabler is an analyst at the
in syria are accelerating. she also joined the u.s. defense secretary in expressing concern that damascus is considering using chemical weapons against the rebels. >> i think there is no question that we remain very concerned, very concerned. as the opposition advances, in particular on damascus, the regime might very well consider the use of chemical weapons. >> secretary panetta went on to say that the white house made it clear there will be consequences should the assad regime make the mistake of using those weapons on its own people. for more on the perspective from damascus, i spoke a short time ago to the bbc's jeremy bolon -- jeremy bowen. >> the issue has been pretty firm on the use of chemical weapons. any news from damascus? >> i think the regime here can feel the pressure. it has been under huge pressure in the last couple of weeks, increasing pressure. of the most pressure has faced from the west, certainly, in the almost two years this has been going on. i spoke before panetta made his remarks to the information minister and he repeated one of their official positions, which
the kremlin for waking up to reality. >> the aftermath of a bombing in a damascus suburb. syrian official media said a car packed with explosives blew up near a school in this district to the southwest of the total, and that at least half of the casualties were women and children. "we were going to school when the explosion took place. i do not know anything about my parents. they may have died." this man says the victims were all students, or going to their places of work. after the explosion, the ground was full of bodies. the state news agency has blamed the violence on terrorists, its name for the rebels intensifying attacks on the government. this was the latest in a string of bombings in and around damascus. for the first time, russia has acknowledged the possibility of the rebels winning the civil war in syria. the assad regime was losing control of more and more territory, an opposition victory could not be ruled out. it is unclear whether this means there will be a u-turn in russia as practice of vetoing u.n. security council resolutions it regards as anti-assad. moscow still arg
. the attack happened as the u.n. and mediators arrived in damascus. this is al jazeera live. indian protesters defied a ban and take to the streets to vent their anger over a bridge toll -- brutal gang rape. the head of the u.s. gun moll goes on television to defend his call for armed guards in every school. they are helping keep kids out of trouble in south africa. welcome to the program. all they were trying to do was buy bread. this has turned into a tragedy in central syria. dozens of people are said to have died at the bakery was hit by a government air strike. this is as they arrived in damascus for more talks aimed at ending the violence. >> panic, chaos, anger. this is the aftermath of what the opposition says was an air strike carried out by a syrian fighter jet. the observatory for human rights says those killed and wounded were queueing outside a bakery. only five days ago it was under the control of government forces. in the rebels recently opened a new battlefront and this region of hama. territorial gains mean little when the states still have superior firepower to strike back. t
for syria made a proposal in damascus where he is delivering talks. >> he will also be holding discussions in moscow as russia steps up its role in helping to find a political resolution to the conflict. the russian parliament says time is running out for damascus. >> it was a high-level meeting between syrian diplomats and the russian foreign minister. he made moscow's line clear -- the crisis has to be solved through political dialogue between the warring parties, but there was no mention of any new proposals to bring about that objective. the foreign ministry denied reports of a new peace plan from russia and the u.s. >> this plan does not exist. that is why it is not being discussed. with mr. brahimi and our american colleagues, we are trying to find a solution on the basis of the peace plan that was agreed upon in june. >> the geneva agreement calls for a cease-fire and the creation of a traditional government, something the united nations special envoy still wants to see. in damascus, he appealed for a government of national unity. >> this government would lead the country in a trans
also joined the u.s. defense secretary in expressing concern that damascus is considering using chemical weapons against the rebels. >> i think there is no question that we remain very concerned, very concerned. as the opposition advances, in particular on damascus, the regime might very well consider the use of chemical weapons. >> secretary panetta went on to say that the white house made it clear there will be consequences should the assad regime make the mistake of using those weapons on its own people. for more on the perspective from damascus, i spoke a short time ago to the bbc's jeremy bolon -- jeremy bowen. >> the issue has been pretty firm on the use of chemical weapons. any news from damascus? >> i think the regime here can feel the pressure. it has been under huge pressure in the last couple of weeks, increasing pressure. of the most pressure has faced from the west, certainly, in the almost two years this has been going on. i spoke before panetta made his remarks to the information minister and he repeated one of their official positions, which is that they say they
nationwide blackout as syrian rebels make a strategic push for, control of an area leading to damascus international airport. and connor powell joins us live with more details on this. what can you tell us? >> well, kelly, for nearly three days, more than 90% of the internet across all the area was out. and latest report is that the internet is back on in damascus and we still don't know about the rest of the country, but the ap was reporting that the internet in damascus, mobile phones are up and running in damascus. it's not clear why they cut it three days ago, they say it was terrorists, but internet companies say it's the syrian government that cut the internet there. and likely because the rebels have been pushing towards damascus and particularly the international airport just south of damascus in recent days and slow their advance and comes as the rebels have been targeting the international airport and the syrian government sis it's open and flights are taking off and landing there. and the emirates and egyptian air say that they have suspended flights indefinitely in that of
for the alliance and send the wrong signal to the regime of president assad. >> nato is warning damascus not to cross a red line, for instance, by using chemical weapons. >> the use of chemical weapons would be completely unacceptable for the whole international community, and if anybody resorts to these terrible weapons, i would expect an immediate reaction. >> apart from germany, the u.s. and netherlands are also expected to supply patriots. both have backed a rapid deployment to their nato allies. >> i think if one of our allies asks us to help with that, i think you need to consider this very carefully and positively. >> the deployment of german patriots has to be approved by the german parliament. only then will it become clear where and how many missiles will be deployed. >> our correspondent has been following nato talks in brussels. we asked what nato's decision to deploy missiles at the turkish border means. >> sending these patriot missiles to turkey is more a political signal than a military necessity. nato wants to support its ally, turkey, and nato wants to reassure all thos
reporter charlie on where the fight goes from here. >> reporter: the outskirts of damascus have become a battleground, with some of the fiercest fighting they have seen yet. now within their sights is their biggest target, the damascus international airport, about 12 miles southeast of the city. heavy bombardments reported today in the surrounding area. rebel leaders called the airport a legitimate target and gave a stark warning to the regime and outside travelers to avoid it at all costs. fighting near the airport forced the suspension of commercial flights this week. some airlines have already stopped altogether. a rebel takeover of the airport would also cut off weapons supplies to allies like iran. >> it has the country's longest runways. it's from that location that jets from iran land. they're carrying a lot of sophisticated weapons, so knocking that location out, taking it over and holding it, would allow the rebels to begin their push toward damascus, without the threat of resupply. >> reporter: that makes it far too valuable to forces loyal to bashar alsad. >> in egypt presid
world affairs correspondent. >> people queueing outside a bakery in damascus in recent days. residents of the capital and activists say there have been shortages of bread, and fighting has made it increasingly difficult for bread factories to operate. food shortages are part of the pressure on syrian families highlighted in today's report. >> this 2.5 million people who are homeless in the country. 3.5 million getting there. others are grounding rice to feed their children. >> the supply of electricity in damascus is becoming more erratic as well. more and more people are relying on generators with some shops saying they are selling as many as 25 generators a day. fuel is becoming increasingly difficult to find, and a cylinder of gas is now selling for up to four times the normal price. the impact of a conflict that has now lasted nearly two years isn't -- becoming increasingly hard to escape in the capital. in this recent video, trucks loaded with people's belongings make their way through the streets of the city. human rights organizations said that in the country as a whole, some 2.
are meeting the president for the second day on a visit to damascus. there was no indication of progress towards a negotiated solution to the conflict, it was said the constitution situation is still going. a report. >> a small corner of the violence that is ravaging syria every day. this is the look at a town in the north. activists maimed seven women -- named seven women and two children they say died in the rubble after bombs were dropped by aircraft. there was even greater carnage further south. a town was attacked by rebels just a few days earlier, and activists said the regime struck back with jets, firing rockets at a bread line near the bakery. the regime said its army struck back at rebel fighters year, killing and injuring many of them. hardly a good moment for the peace envoy to be visiting damascus in search of a solution. whatever may have emerged in his talks with bashar al assad, he was not giving much away. >> i briefed the president about my meetings and talks with officials in the region and beyond and about the steps i think i necessary to help the syrian people come o
at damascus airport for a week. >>shepard: what is the pentagon doing? are they preparing for the possible of intervention? >>reporter: they are actively planning and expect substantial fighting. there is increasing evidence that some of the shoulder-fired missiles that the c.i.a. was trying to track down in libya, and f-16's may have migrated to syria bringing down a helicopter and fighter jet last week. reports that save gas has been loaded on to canisters, the united states set up a task force at a base north of jordan, in amman, that included 150 special forces working with the military of jordan to secure assad's chemical weapons. >> the world is watching. the president of the united states has made very clear there will be consequences if the assad regime makes a tell mistake by using the chemical weapons on their own people. >>reporter: the pentagon is aware a meeting of rebel groups elected a 30-member military command structure and two-thirds is made up with ties to the muslim brotherhood. >>shepard: and damascus and the airport is in the middle of a war zone. fighters declared th
in english literature, as well as graduate degree in translation from damascus university. he went on to earn a degree in conflict transformation from the center of justice and peace at the eastern mennonite university in harrisburg, virginia, and he has fought as assistant professor at princeton university. he is a long-term activists. he was active in the early days as a strategist for nonviolence. he is currently taking on the role of administrator consoles which we intend to focus on today. to my immediate right is ihan tanir. he is a washington dc correspondent for the times daily. and it is a nationwide turkish newspaper. he is also a nonresident fellow. he stayed in the suburbs of damascus, and in early august he was in turn three and has had the time to be with the syrian army or the rebel forces. ihan tanir has written extensive articles. with that introduction, i would like to start off with a general question. we are going to run the session in a question-and-answer style. i'm sure the people in the audience have many questions to ask for. i will start off with just a few and send
the brunt to push them out of damascus. there is the rage and violence in the city of -- raging violence in the city of homs. they are trying to protect themselves from the shelling. >> almost two years of fighting in syria, half a million people have fled the country. they are going to and neighboring areas. as we report, this is just off the coast of turkey. >> immigrants who wash ashore, they are preparing for their first winter. they are increasingly syrian. this is run by volunteers to provide food and shelter. one person has just arrived from callaspo -- aleppo with a vague plan to find his brother. >> they were bombing the houses. we cannot stay. >> the journey is very dangerous. there are bad conditions. been at this time of year, it can be very rough. more than 20 rounds. -- drowned. taken out of the sea, freezing cold, by coast guard. but there is no answer. he seems very confused about what to do next. he knows almost nobody in the city and does not speak the language. >> yesterday and tomorrow. just in case the heels of news -- hear some news. >> there are syrian families cro
on the outskirts of the syrian capital of damascus. two other explosions were reported targeting the interior ministry and the justice ministry. state-run television reported at least one death and several injuries in what it called terrorist attacks. as the violence continued on the ground, diplomacy continued elsewhere. representatives of 130 countries met with opposition figures in morocco. the so-called friends of syria group recognized the opposition as the legitimate representative of the syrian people. following the lead of the eel and the u.s. -- of the eu and the u.s. >> this is an important step. we think it is important the national coalition continue to work on democratic and -- on the democratic platform. this is the new and democratic syria. this is a serious in which -- a syria in which all other religious and ethnic groups have a clear place. >> the secretary general of the arab league also said the situation had not changed. >> we have a new national leadership -- has now changed. >> we have a new national leadership. the fighting has now reached damascus. that shows the curr
foreign minister calls time on the syrian president. outside damascus, french forces killed 25 people in a palestinian territory. the japanese conservative party crushed its components. the website that reveals how heavily london was bombed in world war ii. hello, there, thank you for joining us. heavily armed police have evacuate a church where mourners had gathered in the wake of u.s. school shootings. they searched the house next door after receiving a bomb threat. president barack obama is preparing to travel to a new town to console the grieving relatives of the 27 victims. joan is live for us in new town. what do we know about this threat that the >> i am not sure that i would make that much of it. i am afraid to say that bomb threats are a way of life in this country. when there is a major national story, people take it upon themselves to do this kind of thing. nonetheless, this is the st. rose church behind me and there was a service with world media outside, people were streaming out, some of them running or looking frightened. we were told that it was a bomb threat at the ch
is responsible >> the latest from nairobi. thank you. syrian forces have bombed a mosque in damascus. one report says the 25 people have died. the area is home to thousands of palestinian refugees. it comes as the french foreign minister says he believes the end is near for president assad. muhammed has more. >> the carnage and the city left in their wake. activists say that dozens of people were killed when at least one rocket hit this mosque. they say that most of the .asualties were civilians > >> there is a large number of dead and injured. for now, so many civilians are trying to run away. >> more than 500,000 palestinian refugees in syria live here. but the cast also include members of the liberation of the palestinian general command. their leader is said to leave anti-chairman forces. is the first time it was hit. the president's forces have been fighting for weeks. activists say that the air strike on the campus the sixth such attack in the area. the videos show the damage caused by continuous artillery and rocket chilling in this city. many residential buildings were destroyed. shellin
have fled the palestinian refugee camp near damascus. the area has been under siege for more than three days as rebels battled pro-al-assad groups. they want to gain control over this area as it could lead them closer to central damascus, 8 kilometers away. >> heavy fighting between rebels and palestinians continued in the camp. >> we are clearing the town of government forces and their palestinian allies. >> they have enjoyed the protection of syrian authorities for 14 years. but this is testing their loyalty. even members of a group that has spent an ally of al-assad are angry at the regime. the palestinian front for liberation, the general has been doing most of the fighting. its leaders are furious about the air raid by government forces on sunday. >> we condemn strongly this air attack against the refugee camps which killed more than 25 people. that does not mean we are against syria. we asked the government in syria, we asked the presidents al-assad in syria to explain this attack. >> hundreds fled their homes. some have found refuge in areas of the camp unaffected by the fighting
, but in the country, the prospect of peace looks bleak. >> the united nations envoy is extending his trip to damascus until sunday. that is after making very little progress in talks with president assad, and with some members of the opposition. >> meanwhile, more lives have been lost. opposition activists say more than 30 people were killed across the country on christmas day, but the syrian army accused of bombing yet another bakery, this time in the heart of the country. >> this amateur footage is said to show the destruction at a bakery. the man seen here blames president assad for the attack, calling it another massacre. opposition activists say a government warplane fired on civilians while they were waiting to buy bread. at least 15 people were reported killed. the fighting continues to rage in other parts of the country. in the northern province of aleppo, rebels said they have shifted their strategy. they have been surrounding military bases and airports loyal to the regime, but the army has kept up the pressure. this unverified video is said to show a government attack on a suburb of damasc
desperate and is close to collapse. these pictures filmed last week show how badly parts of damascus has been damaged in the ongoing fighting. this is the largest which the largely deserted province of dalian. a food and fuel for shortage has become severe. the lack of fuel has forced the closure of several factories in damascus. gasoline is selling for less than $20. foreign fighters are taking sides in the growing syrian comfort. reports suggests that the war is increasingly being fought along sectarian lines. >> undoubtedly, the opposition fighters are making territorial gains. they have managed to push into the province of hama, taking over some villages. but the government fights back, using with united nations describes as a disproportionate force. neither side is winning, and the u.n. secretary-general believes there is no prospect of an end to the conflict. >> syria began in conflict and ends in war. day-by-day the death toll has climbed. >> that can only mean more violence, the u.n. warning that conflict has to come over -- has become sectarian. the u.n. human rights council sai
attempt by syria's envoy to find way to end the war. brahimi met assad in damascus. it is not clear if he has a concrete plan but brahimi is trying to get an agreement on a transitional government. >> i've met president assad and we ex-changed views on the next steps to be taken to move forward. we also discussed the steps that i see can be taken to help the people come out of this crisis. >> any political solution that would save the regime is unacceptable. the political solution that is acceptable puts an end to killing of syrians. any solution that does not begin with assad stepping down is rejected and we will oppose it. >> he has no intention of stepping down. but he reportedly told brahimi that he would be willing to cooperate to find solution, but if you ask the opposition, they believe it is the assad government, which has been weakened, it is the assad government, which is on the defensive and it is state that wants a negotiated settlement. the syrian government is just as committed to fighting this war until the end. it says its army is still strong. but its heavy firepower hasn
? if a marriott wants to open in damascus or something like this, is there, is it just purely private? or is there a state role? >> it's actually been quite close into the 1980s. after the 1990s, early 1990s you begin to see the centers open up. the issue with places like syria is that you can open up such centers and there are in existence today. and they proliferate. but a lot of these centers are very carefully selected as opposed to countries like egypt and tunisia. very careful to limit investment in any way, shape, or form. however, you will find bmw, four seasons hotels chains and so on. you will find them but in smaller numbers and they're always connected to some sort of deal whereby the government has some control, if not over the ownership of the property but the usage, the usage rights. >> so how has the government made this system inefficient? what has caused the inefficiency? >> the inefficiency is really a function of how economic -- were made based on the members rather than on a broader economic strategy that's part of the future for the country based on its resources
in syria to be coming to an end. these pictures appear to show fighters in an eastern damascus suburb. hashim, the turkish prime minister says the bloody conflict soon be over. why is he saying that? >> they have been saying about for the last few months. he said a dictator cannot stay in power by killing his own people. the news behind his statement is that there is a new syrian administration coming in very soon. maybe he is referring to the plans to establish an interim government when the conditions on the ground are there. they have a major concern. they say there is a group of deputies that we stream in if the crisis moves are. this is why they have asked them to tackle particularly what is coming out from the syrians. >> brahimi seems to be taking the opposite view. he says the pace of deterioration in superior -- syria is deteriorating and they risk becoming another somalia. >> the concerns is that everyone is talking about the fighter is not being able to move forward and make a decisive victory, particularly in a major town. they have not been able to make a decisive victory
. there was been mass destruction on the eastern out skirts of damascus where the rebels are holding territory despite con tant air strikes. the siege -- besieged towns bear the brunt of the assault to push the rebels out of damascus. these are the victims of the raging violence in homs. activists say dozens of people were killed by the army, which took the area. on syrian tv, trenches dug by the rebelled to protect themselves from shelling the but in the absence of a decisive military victory, the rebels will have to decide whether to negotiate piecemeal or brace for a prolonged war. >> after two years of fighting in syria, the united nations says close to half a million people have fled the country. many are in camps in neighboring turkey, lebanon, and jordan. a much smaller number have made their way to greece. this report from lesbos just off the coast of turkey. >> the immigrants who wash ashore on the greek islands are now struggling with their first european winter. they are somalis, afghanistan annies, and, increates -- increasingly, syrians. all at a camp run by volunteers who provide
damascus, but he is playing a role by training journalist to do the video to document the crimes. he is being killed. he became one of the icons of the syrian revolution. it is many, many names. this is why the leader of the syrian council is kurdish and the third leader is christian. we do not have any problems being christian or kurdish or any background if you are committed to the interest of the syrian people. what kind of guarantees can the syrian opposition can give to the minorities? we can see clearly that this is up to the syrian people after the fall of the assad regime. the nature of the syrian revolution has no discrimination against any minorities. this is why we do not have any fear that specific actions will be taken against minorities, against christians. we do not forget at the same assad -- if you are the assad regime, but it belongs to the alawites. if you are made specific group within the alawite community, you are investing in the civil war. there is a fear about the future of the alawite community. since many from the community, they played a role killing other
: meantime syrian rebels are taking their fight to the capital of damascus. move aimed at putting additional pressure of regime and hitting the heart of president assad's power. that strategy is coming at a bloody cost. witnesses say a mortar slammed into a ninth grade classroom in a damascus suburb. state media early reported 30 dead. killed 13 children and a teacher, the latest innocent victims of an uprising that has tossed a country into chaos. team fox coverage continues now. jonathan hunt at the u.n. jonathan, this looks like the beginning of an end game to many. >> yeah. it certainly does. the rebels have clearly taken the decision within the past week that they cannot bring about the downfall of the assad regime without taking the battle directly to the capital damascus. they do not, however, yet have the fire power to win in one big final assault. so this is likely to be a war of attrition within damascus itself and president assad has gathered his hot best trained troops around his strong holds within the capital so this may well go on for days. butng to a lot of experts, the press
would defeat the uprising. now the fighting has crept so close to damascus that airliners are refusing to land and syria experts say the regime may have pushed the panic button. although the syrian foreign ministry repeated today that the assad dictatorship would never use such weapons against its own people. secretary of state clinton said this about the possible use of e emical weapons. >> this is a red line for the united states. i'm not going to telegraph in any specifics what we would do in the event of credible evidence that the assad regime has resorted to using chemical weapons against their own people but suffice it to say we are certainly planning to take action if that eventuality were to occur. >> reporter: seizing the chemical weapons and agents would require putting up to 75,000 troops on the ground. a massive operation that u.s. officials say is only likely to happen if and when assad falls. preventing assad from using his weapons would require air strikes against sights defended by russian-made anti-aircraft missiles. for now, the obama administration is backing up its
. today there were battles between the assad military and rebels around the capital, damascus, a mortar slammed into a school near the capital, killing at least nine students. it's not clear who fired it. outside journalists rarely get inside syria, but our elizabeth palmer reached damascus and the families suffering there. >> reporter: this is the new normal in damascus: going to work past military checkpoints. random explosions and heavily armed soldiers. trying to ignore the charred wreckage of car bombs, knowing there will be others which could explode any time, anywhere. a twin blast in a neighborhood last week killed more than 30 people. the community rallied to repair shattered windows and walls, but any feeling of security is gone. across the capital, people are gradually adjusting to the encroaching war. "my children don't go to school any more" this man told me. "and everyday we hear the noise of shelling all around us." does it scare you at night? >> of course, i'm not scared about them. >> reporter: you're not scared? >> no. >> reporter: why? >> because i-- >> he's very used
of damascus. jeffrey white says it's only a matter time before the bloody civil war is over. >> you can feel it. you can sense it. looks like the regime is being defeated. >> reporter: intelligence officials say chemical weapons believed to be stored at this syrian base have been primed and ready for use. >> we remain very concerned. very concerned that as the opposition advances in particular on damascus, that the regime might very well consider the use of chemical weapons. >> reporter: so far the u.s. has been very reluctant to use military force to help the overthrow of syrian president bashar al assad. reports he is considering using chemical weapons have some on capitol hill now calling for the president to get tough with the dictator. >> we urge the president of the united states to make whatever military preparations are necessary to show assad that the united states is fully willing and able to impose the consequences that he's spoken of in the event these weapons are used. >> reporter: secretary of state hillary clinton met with her russian counterpart thursday to secure russia's su
on the outskirts of the capital damascus. >> reporter: from a distance, upe destructive power of a missile fired from a mig warplane isn't obvious. but up close, it's overwhelming. sarah is a 21-year-old opposition activist working in the suburbs of damascus. is that the worst, seeing a fighter plane overhead? hi >> reporter: sarah and a small vacp of cyber soldiers headquartered in a vacant apartment, make sure videos of nyrian military attacks on their neighborhood are posted online. working from the battle field-- that is, their own backyard. as we discovered when we spent a night with sarah's family, heavy shelling by the syrian army forced everyone to pick up their akdding and make a run for the basement. in the morning, sarah pointed in aht more damage, like the local hospital, destroyed by a direct oct. hospitf these activists can show their faces. >> reporter: it's going on even in the daytime? >> yes. >> reporter: there are constant risk, not only from the shelling, but also from arrest if they try to leave the area, which is surrounded by the syrian military. inside the neighborhood, t
damascus international, that is okay. the syrians have a lot of their bases they can use. it is a requirement for a run to continued to back assad. the second question, this is an extremely complicated question that i am in the process of writing a longer report on. what i will say is that in my initial assessments seem to mirror what a lot of people have said with 1/3-1/4 markets far as the number of forces in the regime or a battle they are able to employ. basically for the elite units, they can afford all of their brigades and the can hobble together -- airline divisions, they can cobble together one good for grade after all the divisions that they have it. when the contrast to do the things they wanted them to do. i think you take a third of what the assad has and that is about right. at attrition to that. the regime stopped reporting their casualty's at the beginning of july when they really started going up. it is hard to have a clear connection across the table. estimates are high. especially if you consider the number killed. >> what about suni muslims? do we have
heats up, syria. >> i think the regime in damascus is approaching collapse. gwen: on the domestic front, the slow march towards the fiscal cliff continues. >> i'm pretty confident that republicans would not hold middle class taxes hostage. >> it's clear the president is just not serious about cutting spending. >> covering the week, reid wilson of "the hotline," david sanger of "the new york times," martha raddatz of abc news, and john dickerson of "slate" magazine and cbs news. >> award-winning reporting and analysis, covering history as it happens. live from our nation's capital, this is "washington week" with gwen ifill, produced in association with "national journal." corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by -- >> we know why we're here. to chart a greener path in the air and in our factory. >> to find cleaner, more efficient ways to power flight. >> and harness our technology for new energy solutions. >> around the globe, the people of boeing are working together to build a better tomorrow. >> that's why we're here. >> this rock has never stood still. since 1875 we've
>> jeff: tonight the battle for syria, as rebel forces continue their advance on damascus high level diplomats say the conflict is getting worse amid claims al qaeda fighters in the country are getting smarter. david martin at the pentagon with the latest. >> with the fiscal cliff looming the future of many small businesses is up in the air. randall pinkston heads up the cost of uncertainty for one owner. >> a therapy already used with adults shows promise in treating children with advanced leukemia. this young girl shares her experience. >> and holiday return. >> it's my pleasure to return this to you. >> jeff: tony guida watches as a famous hotel welcomes back long missing items, no questions asked. >> this is the captioning sponsored by cbs this is the "cbs evening news." >> good evening, everyone, i'm jeff glor. syrian rebels tonight are ramping up their adult-- assault on damascus and a legalo the country's largest city. the u.n. peace envoy met with u.n. and russian diplomats trying to broker a cease-fire. at the same time there is growing concern tonight over al qaeda's
four americans died. >> woruff: from damascus, i.t.n.'s alex thomson reports on the impact the rebel siege of the syrian capital is having on supporters of the assad regime. >> in this educational district and the one next door alone, in the past two weeks 35 small children and two teachers have been killed. >> ifill: we sit down with retiring connecticut senator joe lieberman, the democrat turned independent reflects on the tragedy in his home state and his 24 years in u.s. senate. >> there is reason for people to be angry skeptical and cynical about t willingss or capacity of congress to act or stop mass violence in our country. >> woodruff: and kwame holman remembers conservative jurist former solicitor general and failed supreme court nominee robert h. bork. >> ifill: that's all ahead on tonight's "newshour." >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> support also comes from >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and foundations. and... >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs
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